Business hook-ups: The benefits of collaboration

Collaboration is a wonderful concept. There is no “one size fits all” model and your business can collaborate with almost any brand spanning virtually all sectors if it meets your objectives and is implemented correctly.

Collaboration can include the obscure to the purposeful; corporations, small businesses, retailers, singers, actors, musicians, artists, designers, films, restaurants, museums and technology companies have all developed collaborations in order to thrive.

There have been some particularly influential and successful collaborations, for example Liberty Stores teaming up with Nike, and The National Opera House collaborating with Odeon Cinemas. While this concept is usually identified as the prestige of renowned corporations, collaborations between small businesses can be just as successful to propel a business to new heights. In fact, clever collaborations can make small businesses appear bigger than they actually are, as they can highlight to consumers that your brand has the resources, creativity and clout to develop relationships with other businesses.

In this social media age, business collaborations have become even more accessible and beneficial, allowing partnerships to be promoted across different platforms, tapping into each other’s’ customer-base and following.

At EatFirst, we recently launched a collaboration with brünch, the first and only German inspired pop-up, bringing together the best Berlin drinks, food and music to London. This involved designing mouth-watering and quirky brunch dishes, to satisfy Londoners’ growing appetites for weekend cuisines. Since we launched brunch, we’ve noticed an increase in social media activity and have been able to tap into brünch’s influential customer-base.

Benefits of business collaboration

Collaborating with businesses to showcase new ideas, particularly ones in your sector, may seem counter-intuitive, however, credible and strategic collaborations can be an effective means to take your business to the next level of its growth. Collaborations can open up new opportunities for your brand and positively influence the wider company, as all businesses will have different strategies, cultures, approaches and goals, offering a variety of viewpoints. This cross communication of opinions can help your business to adapt to the evolving consumer landscape as well as develop solutions to any challenges or barriers you may be facing.

In competitive markets, such as the restaurant sector, collaboration is arguably an efficient means to achieve your business objectives, not only allowing your business to adapt to evolving market trends, but leveraging creativity and resources. This is because business collaboration can spurn new ideas and innovations, which in turn can pique consumers interest in your brand, products or services, including strengthening your offering and appealing to your customer-base.

How to achieve a fruitful collaboration

You need to build trust and ensure each brand are is working towards to same objectives – somewhat similar to a human relationship, you need to know all the facts or have an understanding that it will work.

To help, we’ve put together some tips to consider the benefits and ensure a successful partnership:

  • When deciding to collaborate with a business, develop a plan that discusses the “why” before the “how”. Setting a clear strategy from the outset outlining your objectives and how this will enable your business to grow, will help you partner with the right business that can help you achieve your goals.
  • With any relationship, the chemistry needs to be right. When choosing a business to collaborate with, make sure the brand reflects your business ethos and objectives, for example sharing similar brand values and philosophy.
  • Reach and synergy. For most businesses their ultimate aim is to reach out to new customers and grow as a result. In order to achieve this, don’t feel you need to partner with a renowned company, instead examine other areas where you can benefit, including a brand’s social media following and any recent press coverage. Even if the brand is small but has a relatively high number of followers and its customers represent the demographic you’re looking to target, it makes more sense to partner with this company rather than a large corporation that may not have your interests at heart.
  • Opinion. Every business will have different views and positions of a particular sector. It’s important you take on board these thoughts as well as share you experience, as it could provide invaluable insights you previously never thought about.

Business collaborations can be successful but you need to ensure there is a win-win for all parties. If implemented properly, partnering with another brand can help promote both businesses to a new demographic, expand the customer base and increase sales – helping both achieve future growth and prosperity. Collaborating with another company could be the start of a blossoming relationship for your business and set you on the road to excelled growth and building a pipeline of future partnerships.

By Rahul Parekh, Co-Founder and CEO of EatFirst…